Ah, time for the annual family portrait

I don’t know why getting a family portrait can be such an ordeal. It should be a simple act of scheduling everyone, getting everyone together, and taking a good photo. Instead, twenty different variables come into play.

  • Nobody is free on a single day.
  • All of the good photographers are booked.
  • Nobody likes where you did find a photographer.
  • You have events scheduled before and after, and there’s a tight window.
  • The kids are tired and/or cranky.
  • Even though you know better, you keep going back to Sears out of desperation.
  • The photographer is either incompetent or in a rush, they never tell you that the kids weren’t looking, someone blinked, or that you have lipstick on your teeth.

We’d gone to the Sears Portrait Studio at least three times, and I feel that we never learned our lesson. Inevitably, after paying all that money, it ends up with me paying for one 8×10, scanning it in, and Photoshopping the beejezus out of it to get it respectable. Then send it to Walgreens, and hope the Christmas cards come out well.

This year, no more dealing with lousy Sears. We scheduled an appt with Artist House down in Bellmywr, NJ, which we’ve seen often when going to visit my sister. I mean, there’re a professional photography studio. They have to be better, right?

Luckily everything worked out. After a busy morning of dance classes and soccer scrimmages on December 10th, we dressed up and drove down to south NJ for our photo sitting. Not only were we taking a family photo, we were meeting my sister and her family there. Why? We were also having a photo taken of Josh, Lily, and my niece Abigail.

I’m pleased to say that the photographer was very experienced and professional. He took the time to make sure our pictures came out well, instead of rushing us. He accurately judged when the kids were tired, and all of our photos came out very well.

We just got the photos back today, and they look very good. I had to drive down tonight to pick them up after work, but it was worth it. In my mind, we’ll certainly go back next year.

Family Portrait 2011

Family Portrait 2011

Lessons learned:

  1. Small business owners can be 1000x better than a chain.
  2. You get what you pay for.
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